University of Illinois Extension

Give Toys that Stimulate Creativity

Cammy Seguin, Family Life Educator

Gifts are part of the holiday season. It’s been that way for generations. If your grandkids clamor for those expensive toys they see on TV, listen to what they have to say. Then check the toy for safety, cost, and suitability.

Before buying, ask yourself these questions when shopping for toys.

  • Does the toy offer a wide range of creative possibilities? With a little imagination, can the child use it in many different ways? Or does the toy have one purpose and seem boring after a few days of play?
  • Is the toy appropriate for the age of the child? Most manufacturers print the suggested age range of the toy on the box. It may not be accurate for all children, but it gives some idea of whether the toy is suitable for the child. Keep safety issues in mind, too. Young children can choke on small pieces.
  • Will the toy last beyond the first day? Will it withstand the abuse most children give their toys?

If the toy doesn’t meet these requirements, the fun and joy probably won’t last. Children are often disappointed when the toy advertised doesn’t appear to be as exciting in real life. Advertisements can make toys seem to do more than they are designed to do. The toys children will enjoy for the longest time are the ones that stimulate their creativity.